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the Degree Confluence Project
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United States : Michigan

3.8 miles (6.1 km) WNW of Lennon, Shiawassee, MI, USA
Approx. altitude: 229 m (751 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap topo aerial world confnav)
Antipode: 43°S 96°E

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: A home along the eastern edge of the field #3: The Mighty Red Confluence Explorer alongside M-21, and on the south side of the higway, another home #4: Lots more open farm land looking west, with westbound M-21 at the left edge. #5: There! The GPS doesn't lie (does it?)!

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  43°N 84°W (visit #1)  

#1: Looking north over lots of field

(visited by John Fishbeck)

16-Oct-2000 -- Well, if my visit to 43° N, 85° W on Saturday, October 15, 2000 transpired on a day "more like summer than fall," then my visit the next day, Sunday October 16, to 43° N, 84° W took place on a day more like November than October. The weather was very gray, threatening rain and cool. Furthermore, I had some of those old "job jar" chores to take care of in the morning, and we had company coming for dinner later in the afternoon.

But, hey ... when one is focused on the mission to locate and document confluences, one must push forward with all due determination with the resources at hand. So it was that at around 2 PM I mounted and fired up the Mighty Red Confluence Explorer (a.k.a. my red '88 BMW K75S motorcycle) with maps, a borrowed Magellan GPS and camera aboard. Departing my home in Williamston, Michigan I headed out for the confluence location, approximately 9 miles east of Owosso, Michigan along highway M-21 and less than 100 yards north of the roadside. My normal modus operandi is travel the back roads when motorcycling, but short on time, I opted for the most direct route, at least for the ride up. My preparation revealed that the confluence destination was 37 miles by fastest routing, including an 18 mile northeast stretch on the I-69 "slab" from M-52 at Perry to northbound M-13.

As I traveled east-northeast bound on I-69 towards the M-13 exit, the sky lowered and darkened. "Hmmmm," I thought to myself, "I'm not too crazy about the looks of this." Since the weather radar was not showing any precipitation in the vicinity, I had opted to ride without rain gear. "This could get ugly..."

Exiting north on to M-13, the sky continued to deteriorate. There was, however, no sign of imminent rain, so with resolve I proceeded on to the confluence location.

By the time I arrived at the intersection of 84° W with M-21, the sky was very gray indeed, with a light mist (almost fog) permeating the air. But I was there, and it wasn't raining! Stopping on the shoulder alongside the north edge of two-lane M-21, I found that once again, like my visit to 43° N, 85° W, the spot where 43° N and 84° W intersected was highly representative of the land in which it resided. This part of Michigan exists along the southern edge of the Saginaw Valley region, an area of flat land and rich soil supporting very productive agriculture. Like much of southern Michigan, the region was settled by pioneering immigrant farmers during the early-to-mid 1800s (read, for instance, "The Last Farmer," by Howard Kohn, for a fascinating account of one family's settlement and farming of this area).

Walking carefully, I headed less than 300' north from the roadside when the GPS showed me that I was at the confluence. And, like so much of the land around me, I was amidst a farmer's field. The pictures taken at the confluence location tell the story, and the spot is very typical of the land for miles around.

Having succeeded in achieving and documenting the confluence, I packed my things back up and launched for the return ride home. The weather, ugly though it was, still held up without opening up on me, and I had sufficient time on my hands. So I took the opportunity for a back road trip home. I doubled back on M-21 to pick up Durand Rd., where I headed south. Taking Durand Rd. all the way into the north edge of the small town of Durand (a significant Michigan railroad center back when the rails were king), I picked up the old Saginaw Highway (which I-69 superseded) southwest bound. I followed this old and historic byway, the first time I'd traveled this stretch in many, many years, all the way down to Shaftsburg Rd., where I dropped south and followed it and Williamston Rd. back home.

Pulling into the driveway I felt pleased that I had bagged yet another confluence, and not a drop of rain to boot! 'Twas a fine, short afternoon’s adventure.


 All pictures
#1: Looking north over lots of field
#2: A home along the eastern edge of the field
#3: The Mighty Red Confluence Explorer alongside M-21, and on the south side of the higway, another home
#4: Lots more open farm land looking west, with westbound M-21 at the left edge.
#5: There! The GPS doesn't lie (does it?)!
#6: My '88 BMW K75S on the shoulder of M-21, about 100 yards south of the confluence.
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)